We need others in our life to help us carry through some of the tasks we may not be able to achieve on our own. There are simple tasks such as grocery shopping. Online grocery delivery makes it easy to stay at home and receive groceries if you are too busy or dealing with an illness. I am a big fan of grocery delivery in that it saves time, creates job opportunities for others, and can involve the family shopping together from the comfort of home.
There are large tasks, which require a proxy, such as the one presented in this week’s Torah Portion, Vay’chi. When Jacob (Israel) is dying, he asks Joseph to take an oath that he will be buried in the Promised Land. In Genesis 47: 29-30, Jacob says, “Please do not bury me in Egypt. When I [am laid to] rest with my ancestors, carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burial-place.” Joseph is responsible for returning Jacob’s body to his ancestral land after he dies.
There are momentous times and minuscule times when we need a proxy or a helping hand to do the things we just cannot do ourselves. Sometimes the proxy is a stranger, and sometimes, the proxy is a friend or family member. We depend upon others to follow through and be there for us whether they receive compensation or not.
There are benefits to having a proxy, it ultimately adds another dimension to community in those places. In order for Jacob to have his final peace, he needed to know he could return physically to his home. By sending Joseph to help him return, he linked himself to the place he really wanted to be at the time of his death.
We keep with the tradition of proxies for the Mourner’s Kaddish. Many of us come to say Kaddish for those who are no longer living, and we respect their memory along with keeping that link of them to our community through you. Even when we come to pray, we are praying to keep our lineage and heritage alive, so we are representing those who are no longer with us and those who are yet to come.
This Shabbat, at 8:00 p.m., we will come together for Shabbat Savasana, Shabbat of peace, of mindfulness, of gratitude, and of yoga. I am happy to have joining me KI member, Cindy Goldberg, Mindfulness Coach, who will share a message: “Mindfulness is our Private Shabbat.” I will lead you in a light and easy Shabbat yoga practice with meditative music. In leading the service, I will also be joined by Hillary Eisenman, Vocals, Lisa Golluber, Reiki Practitioner, and Jessie Ragin, Cellist.
There are times for proxies and there are times to be present. This Shabbat is a time to be present, and through mindfulness learn how valuable our community can be to your sense of wholeness and well-being. This Shabbat, do not send an excuse or a proxy, come and join us!
Cantor Amy Levy